Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/1/2009 (4657 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After all, one minute you're the starting quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ---- running a doughnut shop just outside Detroit in the off-season -- and the next thing you know your boss is on the line wanting to know where you'd prefer to be traded. Other than that, Kevin Glenn, we think the world of you.
At least, that's what Bombers new head coach Mike Kelly was spinning Wednesday after the club acquired Edmonton Eskimos backup QB Stefan LeFors for two Canadian draft picks (one in the second round in 2009, another conditional in 2010).
Guess Kelly finally got around to making up his mind about Glenn's future status with the Bombers, eh?
Boy, say what you want about this new guy, but at the very least he's decisive. Not only that, but Kelly -- and this can be rare in today's world of professional sports -- doesn't treat risk like a communicable disease.
Because, brother, this is risky -- if in fact the Bombers do end up dealing the veteran Glenn. Because while Glenn may have had his critics, he's also had his moments in a Bombers uniform, too. Glenn is just two years removed from his East Division MOP season. He'd make a good security blanket for a new head coach.
That is all forgetting that this is Winnipeg, where the debate over who should start under centre for the Blue Bombers is an insatiable beast. And Glenn, in particular, has never seemed to rally the masses with unconditional confidence. (Take a number, No. 5).
That just seems to be part of the gig in Winnipeg: Read defences, protect the ball, find the open man and -- oh, one more thing -- be subject to endless public speculation about whether or not you're qualified to win a Grey Cup.
So enter Kelly, who from the moment he arrived in Winnipeg, was getting unsolicited opinions about Glenn from everybody from the taxi driver to Lyle Bauer's plumber. ("Could you pass me that crescent wrench, please? And another thing, Glenn can't throw out of the pocket...") In fact, the only person who seemed reluctant to broadcast his innermost thoughts on the Bombers' current No. 1 QB was Kelly himself.
It's not like Kelly hasn't been supportive of Glenn, but he was always noncommittal about the pivot's place in the organization. That only fed speculation, which is the bastard child of uncertainty and time.
Now this, the arrival of LeFors, who didn't have a hope of unseating Esks starting hurler Ricky Ray. (The Esks also have veteran Jason Maas on the depth chart.) And it's not like the 27-year-old from Louisiana is without turf cred, either. LeFors was a fourth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2005 after a prolific career at the University of Louisville, where he finished fourth all-time in passing yardage (5,853).
Yeah, I know, those are only a bunch of numbers, but clearly Kelly -- who got to know LeFors up close as the Esks receiving coach last year -- sees enough in the neophyte lefty to put his reputation on the line big-time.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Kelly, who considers himself a quarterback connoisseur, had the entire 2008 season -- with the Bombers job in his radar -- to form opinions on Glenn or anyone else. And this is a man with a very specific set of criteria on what he wants in a player, in particular a quarterback.
The Bombers easily could have taken the safe route, brought in Glenn, LeFors, Ryan Dinwiddie and Bryan Randall, and let them throw it out for the No. 1 job. After all, we've said repeatedly in this space that it can be a rash decision to get rid of player who you think can be replaced until you actually replace him. See: Troy Westwood, 2008.
But if Kelly really believes LeFors is his guy and the Bombers have faith in the development of Dinwiddie and/or Randall, then why not pull the plug on Glenn altogether? Maybe get a need filled in return. Any kickers available?
A fresh start for Glenn elsewhere would save everybody some time, Glenn included. After all, why would Glenn even want to come back to the Bombers now if the head coach's first significant personnel move is to try to trade him away?
Still, this LeFors better be good. And Dinwiddie and Randall would be advised to bring their A game to training camp, because there will be a lot of question marks wearing Bombers jerseys.
One thing is certain, however. The Bombers quarterback soap opera -- the longest running show off Broadway -- just added another character to the existing cast while telling the headliner he may be written out of the script altogether.
Will that create any drama on Maroons Road?
Bet on it.
Dollars to doughnuts.
Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.